Harrogate Town’s, New Year’s Day, journey to the Cumbrian coast, ended in a hard fought victory over Workington.
Town gave a début to loan signing from Bradford City, Adam Baker,and Alan White returned into the heart of the defence.
It took only 7 minutes for Baker to make his presence felt.
Skipper Paul Bolland received the ball from a throw in,and his clever pass inside the full back released Baker, whose menacing run and cross was finished off from close range by Lee Elam.
Town also had reason to thank an excellent piece of refereeing by Martin Coy who ignored his assistant’s flag and played the advantage rule.
The Reds countered strongly with the mercurial,Joe Mwasile, providing an opening for Gareth Arnison to shoot at Craig MacGillivray and White made a fine interception to snuff out a dangerous Mwasile cross.
White was soon in action at the other end,when he headed a Dave Merris free kick across goal and Chib Chilaka tested debutant keeper,Jon Mitchell, at the near post after he had been played in by Baker.
Mitchell then had to race quickly out of his area to deny Luke Dean, as he chased Elam’s lobbed pass.
Town’s impressive back four were easily containing the Reds attack,but all was to change after the break.
Baker and Dean combined to play in Chilaka but his close range effort was smothered by the packed home defence.
The Reds began to turn up the heat and it was no surprise when they equalised on 57 minutes. Jonathan Hooper was the first to react as a shot rebounded of the far post and he tapped in from close range.
Chilaka and Dean were replaced by Jonny Allan and Adam Nowakowski on 65 minutes and Town began to weather the storm.
As Workington,cheered on by a very partisan crowd, pressed for a winner, Town began to hit them on the break.
Lee Elam forced Mitchell into a near post save, before Allan shot wide from a good position and Shane Killock turned another Elam centre over the bar.
But with only five minutes left, it was Town who secured the victory, when Baker picked up Allan’s flick on and beat Mitchell from close range.
The match almost had a sting in the tail, when Mwasile, whose duel with Dwayne Samuels had been one of the highlights of the afternoon, lashed in a tremendous 25 yard drive which just shaved the Town upright.
This win saw Town move up another two places in the league table.
Town 1 MacGillivray, 2 Samuels, 3 Merris, 4 Bolder, 5 White, 6 Killock, 7 Bolland(c), 8 Dean (Nowakowski 65), 9 Chilaka(Allan65), 10 Baker, 11 Elam (Forrest 88),
Unused subs, 15 Bloomer, 16 Beesley.
Scorers Elam 7,Baker 85.
Workington 1 Harrogate Town 2